Relationships Then vs Now: Do we want to go back in time?

Faija Tasfia & Sayeba Bintay Zahir

Love, a four-lettered word, is a powerful emotion. We are searching for this our whole life in the smallest things in the most unbeknownst way. The quest for finding love is short for someone, long for others. But the process to keep this love is equally hard. It requires work, time, and energy along with respect and understanding. But one question often comes to mind. Why is finding love so hard today?

Keeping this controversial and confusing question in mind, we conducted a survey. From the survey starring people from age 19, we got a deeper understanding of relationships, mindsets, and opinions of people. 

83.9% of the respondents agreed that relationships fall apart nowadays more than it did before while the rest disagreed. 

When asked about the reasons for breaking off relationships more today, they stated a lack of trust, patience, and empathy as some of the reasons. Today’s generation does not have the understanding, social skills, and respect for their partner the previous generation had. The respondents claimed this as an effect of modernism.  Moreover, this generation has a self-centered attitude for which none of the sides wants to compromise. Other reasons stated were disloyalty, afraid of commitment, dominating, and egoistic behavior. A part of the respondents also claimed that people are more aware of their mental health, so they do not stay in toxic relationships. 

89.2% respondents believe that relationships used to last longer before.

They believed that compromising mentality, patience, loyalty, mutual respect of couples back then was the reason. Less dependence on social media and technology was another factor proposed by the respondents. Social media can play a negative factor in relationships. 64% of respondents believe that social media have played a negative factor in their relationship. Posting everything on social media has become a habit of this generation. A tendency of showing off – their happy and personal moments to get some praise. But at this, things don’t remain personal. It attracts unwanted opinions. Amidst this constant clicking and posting, they often forget to spend quality time. Moreover, social media has given rise to online dating. 91.4% of respondents agree that online dating is responsible for less emotional attachment. 

81.7% prefer going steady in relationships like old times. 71% believe that dating is getting worse nowadays.

Dating today is not about spending time, it’s about the costly places you visit and the instagrammable pictures you clicked. Emotions and connections are missing. People do not want to put work in relationships anymore. They just swipe left over the most irrelevant argument which could be solved over a cup of tea. 76.3% of respondents agree that partners were more emotionally attached before. Though couples now go on more dates than before, they don’t really know each other. This is because they have no intention of knowing each other. For some, it’s more like a deal or time pass. 63.4% of the respondents have felt like going back to the 90s where they would be less distracted by cell phones and social media.

But various positive changes can also be seen in modern relationships. 61.3% of respondents agree that equity is practiced more in today’s relationships. For example, women are more independent today. They are less reliant on their male counterparts. Women pay bills and take their own decisions. They are more aware of their self- respect since they are self-conscious. Relationships today have their own perks. They can open up and give their opinions. Previously there was a dominance of the male counterparts. The communication is rather easy. The partners understand the need for personal space. Moreover, families are more supportive now. The parents prioritize their children’s happiness more than the opinions of society.

 There are drawbacks to both today and previous relationships. We asked about the dating trends now and then and asked their preference. Here what we got from them; 65.6% prefer a handwritten letter over spontaneous texting. 82.8% prefer sitting on a park bench over restaurant dates. 62.4% prefer rickshaw rides over long drives. 88.3% prefer buying a gift personally online. 66.7% prefer face to face conversations on a limited number of meetings over video calling every day and frequent meetings.

This shows through people appreciate the positive changes of modern dating, the heartfelt gestures of dating trends before is what sways them off their feet. Though they despise the communication problems/ gaps, male dominance, restrictions of relationships then, they also love the sincerity, loyalty, emotional attachments of relationships then. 

From the survey above, we can understand that loyalty and respect from both sides is important. Mutual trust is what makes it successful. We should try to bring the small and heartfelt gestures of relationships back then. But at the same time, we should also be appreciative of the openness and understanding of today’s relationship. In the end, we should remember a relationship thrives on the efforts and adjustments of two people. Be it then or now.

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